RICHMOND (KCBS) – A count of Contra Costa County’s homeless residents began Wednesday morning.

Cynthia Belon, Director of the Contra Costa Health Services Homeless Program, said that this count happens every two years at the behest of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

KCBS’ Tim Ryan Reports:

”We receive close to $9 million each year for homeless services and housing in our community,” said Belon. “So it’s really critical that we do this count. It allows us to understand the trends of homelessness in our community, as well as the success that we’re making towards achieving the goals of our ten-year plan towards ending homelessness.”

Interestingly, the 2009 count found a 38 percent drop in the homeless population in Contra Costa County from 2007 when Stephanie Bachelor was homeless in Martinez. Now, she’s helping with the count.

”You’ve got to change your life,” said Bachelor. “You’ve got to make changes in everything you do. You’ve got to stop doing the old behavior, and accept the new behavior and a new life. If nothing changes, then nothing changes. They say that in AA and NA.”

San Francisco’s homeless count takes place on Thursday.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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